NBA: More Betting Predictions for the Second Round

Posted by Aaron . on May 2, 2016 in

As the second round of the NBA playoffs get underway, we see some intriguing matchups taking shape. Each series has some intrigue of its own — Toronto and Miami will both be exhausted after polishing off seven-game marathons, while the Spurs just utterly humiliated the Thunder in Game 1, and it will be interesting to see how Oklahoma City responds. The Warriors just keep winning, even with Steph Curry on the bench. How will Atlanta respond to the way Cleveland just shoehorned them out of the Eastern Conference Finals last year?

NBA: More Betting Predictions for the Second Round



Oklahoma City will win at least two games.

I know that the Spurs delivered an absolute butt-kicking to the Thunder in Game 1. Do you remember, though, when Oklahoma City beat Dallas in Game 1 by 38 and then lost Game 2? I don’t think the Thunder will rebound and steal Game 2, but I do think they’ll draw level when the series moves back up north. The Thunder are a significantly better team at home, and they won both of their meetings with the Spurs at home this season. Don’t discount Westbrook and Durant as a Dynamic Duo just because they were both ice cold in Game 1.

Cleveland will sweep the Hawks out of the playoffs.

Last year, when the Cavaliers met Atlanta in the Eastern Conference Finals, Cleveland executed a four-game sweep. LeBron James averaged 30.3 points, 11 boards and 9.3 assists in the series. During the regular season, the Cavaliers won all three meetings — and this time LeBron had help. Kevin Love dumped 25 on Atlanta on November 21, and Kyrie Irving took a turn, leading the team with 35 points on April 11. Now the Hawks are better on defense than they were last year. In Game 2, they held Boston to just seven points in the first period, the lowest in a playoff opening period since the shot clock came in, back in 1954. In the Boston series, the Hawks averaged 8.6 blocks per game. However, Cleveland was already limited by injuries in the conference finals last year, and this year they are at full strength. This is a matchup nightmare for the Hawks.

Fear the Raptors.

It looked like the Pacers were going to dump the Raptors early on. They hadn’t won a playoff series in 15 years, and the All-Star pair of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan looked like they were going to fold under the collective pressure. Paul George was running wild, and the Pacers were making the Raptors look silly. Then came the huge comeback in Game 5 and the defensive throttling in Game 7. The Raptors only scored 11 points in the fourth period, the fewest of a Game 7 winner since 1955. However, they had finally done such a good job shutting down the Pacer offense that it didn’t matter. The Heat struggled with the Hornets in Games 3-5, and the Raptors have an exponentially better defense. I’m predicting a Raptors-Cavaliers Eastern Conference final.